Mountain leader course, Plas Y Brenin, North Wales…

It’s Friday…..finished work for the week and I have to leave Glasgow and head down to Snowdonia National Park, Wales for my mountain leadership course.

Will I make it there tonight?…..3 hours after leaving work, I had to pull over near The Lakes for a sleep and get up early to get to Plas Y Brenin in Capel Curig for 9am welcome meeting to meet the people I’m going to spend the rest of the week with.

Video: https://youtu.be/k2DzewAqRDE

Wake up at 5am for the 3-hour drive to North Wales, Park up the camper in the rear car park (Home for the next week) check into the course at reception and head to a classroom with 11 people already there in that weird silence until the course instructor turns up. Welcome ice breaker speeches were done, meet the instructors Spike and Brad, and I’m happy I’m going the spend the rest of the week with a nice cool and varied group.

The week would be broken down into different training days as follows:

Day 1: Saturday – AM, Welcome Talk, Introduction to the award, Navigation skills.

PM, How does the weather influence our mountains and the decisions leaders take? General review talk.

Day 2: Sunday – A mountain journey covering operational, Personal and Leadership skills. Environmental hazards.

PM, Access and the Environment.

Day 3: Monday – Responsibilities of a Mountain Leader, Emergency Procedures, Medical, Equipment, Introduction to rope work and Water Hazard.

PM, Plan a QMD in Scotland for after this course.

Day 4: Tuesday – Emergency ropework – practical, Expedition preparation.

PM, Snowdonia mountains and rivers

Day 5: Wednesday – Expedition skills and Navigation

PM, Expedition, Camp and night navigation

Day 6: Thursday – Expedition skills continues, Review and action plan for Mountain Leader Assessment.

End of course: Debrief, questions, tea and cake, head home.

The course was really good, informative and enjoyable. Staying in the camper did save some money on the accommodation fees that PYB wanted for the week. I still managed to spend time with the group in the downtime we had in the evening and always met for breakfast and evening dinner. I would strongly recommend this place for the course if you want to be a future mountain leader.

I made a video from the whole week with clips taken most days of the events and training that we did……

The youtube link is: https://youtu.be/k2DzewAqRDE

One of the best days was the Navigation that week did over 2 days, including wild camping and night navigation. The plan looked like this….in breif.

Set off from Capel Curig PYB site 11:00 .
Navigation through to the campsite via Y Foel Goch into the valley of Cwm Tryfan next to Mt Tryfan.
Night navigation from 22:00 – 00:30.


Woke up 7:30 for breakfast, take down tents and ready to move for 08:30 for navigation up the scree to the North of Tryfan and up to the top of Glyder Fawr.


walked down the steep descent towards the “football pitch” and to the main road for 14:30


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